Your Views: Mammograms and Learning Disabilities

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mammograms, or Not

A major practical reason for the slight decline in women having mammograms is that some women have abandoned hormone replacement therapy because of the controversies surrounding it ["Mammogram Rates Seem To Be Slipping," May 12]. Gynecologists routinely recommended mammograms as a precondition for refilling a woman's hormone prescription. This segment of patients has lost the incentive to get an annual screening mammogram.

In an effort to improve access and compliance with this life-saving screening test, Sibley Memorial Hospital is waiving the requirement for a woman to have a prescription in hand to get a screening mammogram. If one thinks the cost of a mammogram is expensive, the cost of treating an advanced disease is far greater.

Rebecca A. Zuurbier

Director of Breast Imaging

Sibley Memorial Hospital

Washington

Last fall, I had my routine yearly mammogram. It found a four-millimeter cancer. There was nothing there the year before. It was too small and too deep in my breast to be found by breast exam. A lumpectomy, oral medication and radiation were all I needed. It helped that it was a digital mammogram, which tends to find smaller lesions.

Please keep urging women to get their mammograms. I am sure a mammogram saved my life.

Disy Yarbrough


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